New Method May Pinpoint Certain Bacteria

Research involving dental cavities and periodontal diseases had an unintended result: the development of a technique that could locate the potential source of an infection by overtaking the normal processes of pathogens.

Researchers from The University of Nottingham and GSK Consumer Healthcare developed this technique. This method makes it easy enough for the bacteria to be located by a smartphone camera, thanks to the fluorescent markers use to tag the cells. Polymers were grown that essentially adhere to the bacteria, enabling their exact location to be determined.

The information appears in Nature Materials.

This research could be vital in countries in which advanced laboratory techniques are not available.

Prior to this study, locating the exact spot of the harmful bacteria from a serious medical or dental condition was challenging. But that could change now. This new approach, referred to as bacterial-instructed synthesis, nullifies the need for an advanced laboratory.

This information could also provide a major boost based on the fact that the polymers are not difficult to acquire, they are cheap and widely available. The study could lead to a long list of other dental and medical benefits.